The Effect of Resin Soluble Binder on Mold Filling with Preforms 930175
This paper presents a study of the effects of a resin soluble thermoplastic preform binder on the Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process. The focus of the study is the rate of dissolution of the binder in the resin and the associated viscosity changes in the resin. Tests on the rate of binder dissolution from continuous strand glass mats show that after one minute of exposure to styrene, roughly half of the medium solubility binder from Unifilo 750 will dissolve and all of the high solubility binder from Unifilo 101 will dissolve. As the concentration of binder in the resin increases from 0 to 5 wt. percent, the viscosity of a vinyl ester resin increases from 125 cps to 280 cps. The viscosity of the resin has also been monitored in continuous flow experiments through the mats placed in a rectangular plague mold, at different flowrates. In these runs, the viscosity varied from 245 mPa-s to 145 mPa-s when the fill time was 2.2 minutes. The viscosity varied less -- from 187 mPa-s to 145 mPa-s -- when the fill time was 1 minute. The binder dissolution time is much less than the gel time of Derakane (10-20 minutes) and therefore is a major factor in the mold filling process.